Since its foundation in 1970, the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology (IOT) was defined as a center for pastoral formation and theological research. The Institute sets guidelines for theological thought in the Antiochian Patriarchate and provides pastors with both traditional and modern approaches and methods that help them in serving the Church and witnessing to the world.
The research spectrum of the PhD program covers the main areas of academic studies in theology: biblical exegesis, dogmatic theology, patristics, Church history, pastoral theology and interreligious studies. These areas are bound together through a common approach based on the Antiochian Orthodox Christian heritage and a pastoral concern of modern society.
Having built a competent faculty working for the advancement of Orthodox Christian scholarship, the IOT has created a network of collaboration with theological institutions and scholars around the world, through joint agreements aiming at fostering theological endeavors. This enables the program to provide concrete opportunities to produce valuable multilingual research, to equip the community with new generations of qualified experts, and to create a forum of exchange for scholars coming from different Orthodox backgrounds.
The Balamand University has always radiated faith and knowledge to the Antiochian communities all over the world. Thus this program has come to extend the Balamand's mission to the highest levels of academic talent and erudition. In partnership with the IOT, the Antiochian House of Orthodox Studies (AHOS), based in the Antiochian Village of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, plays a vital role in fulfilling the witness of the Church of Antioch and its mission in the world.